© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

A Fan of Work

I use a computer at work. Most of the day. Everyday. So the other day when my computer stopped working, I followed suit.

I called our National Help Desk. Jack answered. Jack. This is a little game our IT friends in India play to build camaraderie. I play along. I need to get my computer fixed. But Jack can’t help me over the phone so he creates a ticket for onsite support. The next day our 60 year-old, silver pony-tailed IT guru appears at my desk. After an hour and with a dissatisfied hmmphh, he whisks my laptop away to his lab. Never a good sign.

Two days later he returns, toting my computer, and he apologizes. With a frustrated look on his whiskered face he declares, “I’m stumped. You might be hosed.”

But I have one more card up my sleeve. I’m owed a favor that I desperately need to cash in. So I yield my device for one, last-ditch salvage attempt.

The next afternoon my phone rings. A full five days after I called Jack, I finally get the news I’ve been patiently waiting to hear. “You’re good to go.”

Turns out the processor was trying to save itself from a catastrophic meltdown by inhibiting full system performance. Apparently the exhaust fan wasn’t functioning properly because a piece of plastic, smaller than half the size of your baby fingernail, was wedged in the fan’s blade. Without a fan to cool the processor, my Dell was a ticking time bomb.

With a quick flick of the POWER button, my computer, and its fan, hums to back to work.

And so do I.

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